Cruising the San Juan Islands: Part 2

Cruising the San Juan Islands: Part 2

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Port Ludlow to Mackaye Harbor

Our first experience anchoring was…fun. Aside from some quirkiness from the windlass, we did pretty good! Port Ludlow is a muddy bottom (like most of the Puget Sound area), so it was a good place to learn. We were exhausted by the time we got settled down after taking Katie to shore to do her businesses, but we managed to spend a few minutes enjoying a beautiful sunset.

sunset at port ludlow

 

We faced our first “living on the hook” challenge: making coffee with no shore power. Usually we use an electric kettle to get the water temperature exactly right, an important element of the brewing process when you use a Chemex coffee maker. Without power, we had to heat the water in a pan and then pour it into the kettle (we use a gooseneck kettle for even pouring). A stovetop kettle is definitely on our wish list for future cruising adventures, but for now, this worked quite nicely for us.

Before we got to the actual cruising portion of this adventure, we had one stop to make: my dad’s family’s annual reunion in Sequim.

I have such fond memories of attending the reunion when I was a kid. We made a road trip out of it several times, and those trips are some of my best memories of childhood. We would stop and camp along the way, sleeping in this green tent, all four of us (my parents and my brother, Matt. Dan was there for one trip, I believe), and cooking on a camp stove. The Pacific Northwest is known for its berries, and I remember picking strawberries one year and my mom making a strawberry pie inside the tent because it was pouring rain outside.

 

This was the first time in over 20 years that I made it to the reunion. Since I was a kid the last time I went, I didn’t remember a whole lot of people, so it was fun to re-meet so much of my dad’s side of the family. Jim and I both really enjoyed chatting with everyone, getting a tour of the dairy farm run for three generations by the Smith family, and having my fingers sucked on by baby cows. There was so much good food and good conversation that all around warmed my soul.

dairy farm in sequim, wa
The family farm from the mouth of Sequim Bay

That night was a full moon (or almost full), and it was red in all the smoke from the fires. We sat outside, enjoying a nightcap and listening to the music coming from the wedding at the yacht club. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful day.

 

red full moon

 

From Sequim, we made our way across the Straight of Juan de Fuca and into the San Juans. Our first stop was Mackaye Harbor on the south side of Lopez Island. We picked blackberries and checked out a cute little general store and enjoyed a beautiful walk on this green and lush island. Everyone who passed us waved from their cars, and we just loved how friendly and welcoming people were.

dirt road on Lopez Island

Next week we start really exploring the San Juan Islands. Stay tuned as we anchor at Friday Harbor, Blind Bay and more!

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Cruising the San Juan Islands: Part 2

  1. Hi! Like that your videos are more than snippets. Watching your transit of Admiralty against flood current. Ouch! I boat too, and use a tide app called AyeTides which has current info in text and graphic format for numerous stations throughout the Puget Sound. Trip planning on a sailboat calls for tide and current awareness for maximum safety and efficiency. Looking back on my first years cruising, I realize now how incredibly lucky I was.

    1. Hi Kevin! I am so sorry. It looks like we never responded to your comment! We will definitely check out AyeTides because that was miserable trying to get through Admiralty that day! We looked at so many other aspects of the trip and completely forgot about that one. Lesson learned!

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